PlayStation 4 not using Sony Cell processor - Report

Industry sources say Sony's forthcoming next-gen console won't make use of technology introduced with the PlayStation 3.

The PlayStation 4 will not use Sony's Cell processor, nor any advancement of the technology, industry sources have told gaming blog Kotaku.

Sony's Cell tech isn't coming to the PS4, according to Kotaku.

This news follows last week's report that AMD will power the PS4's graphics processing unit, marking a departure from the PlayStation 3's Nvidia-powered GPU.

As of press time, Sony had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment.

The Cell processor (at right) was at the heart of the PlayStation 3, helping the system render its high-definition visuals and other complex processes. However, in 2007, Sony abandoned future Cell development based on its high cost.

As for the PS4, Sony acknowledged its existence last year, but gamers shouldn't expect it anytime soon. Sony has shot down rumors that the system would be unveiled at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo this June, later saying news of a PS4 in 2012 would be distracting.

For more on rumors relating to the PS4, as well as the next Xbox and Wii U, check out GameSpot's next-generation rumor roundup feature.

Written By

Discussion

122 comments
SoreThumbsBill
SoreThumbsBill

If my PS3 games play on PS4 I'm buying on release date if not probably in 2 - 3 years.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Ohhhh but future cell development sounded so cool :cry: Ah wells. As long as the games are good (Uncharted) I'm happy!

MrGordons
MrGordons

This means all our ps3 games will NOT play in the ps4.... crappy poop.

Auction_Sniper
Auction_Sniper

Well, at least it might leave hope for PS2 compatibility through software emulation..... (Yes, some of us would prefer to keep our collections instead of selling them off to rebuy HD remakes).

theKSMM
theKSMM

Does this open the door for an Intel Core i7, nVidia TEGRA 2 or ARM chip? Mmm, I can smell the low-power goodness...

theKSMM
theKSMM

: Sony's initial attempt to provide the hardware of their first two consoles in their third was foolish. In the long run, it made Microsoft's goal of supporting their most popular titles (with HD upgrading) through software emulation look like pure genius. They made me mad, however, when they decided to pull backwards compatibility completely with some bogus claims that it was too difficult from a technical perspective to be worthwhile. Then the next thing you know, the PlayStation Store is full of $6 to $10 PSOne Classics and a new trio of HD remakes is showing up every month. Sounds like Sony just decided that letting you use your existing PSOne / PS2 discs was less profitable than charging you to download those games again. I have no hope that they'll offer any substantial backwards compatibility anymore. They've shown which direction they want to go, and it's toward account-locked, DRMed digital downloads.

WarGrad
WarGrad

@dr_Jashugan Backwards compatibility was why the PS3 cost so damn much in the first place. However that was hardware based. Xbox 360 did it too but it was software based. Easier to update and cheaper. Let's see what happens.

WarGrad
WarGrad

@jhcho2 AMD fusion processors were never meant to be aimed towards gamers, they were meant to be mainstream. Mainstream is where the money is at. To build a gaming computer is to spend several thousand dollars, many hours of research and building to stay ahead of the curve for another 2-3 years. Then the process repeats itself. It takes too much time and effort to keep updating the fusion hardware to make it profitable.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

$ony, DON'T forget Backward Compatibility!!! Please!! :o

jhcho2
jhcho2

@mpeg3s AMD didn't unify anything. Their Fusion processors didn't live up the the hype of having a single processing unit to do both. The architecture will remain as the conventional CPU/GPU type as long as raw horsepower is needed. That's why unified processors don't really work on anything other than laptops.

mpeg3s
mpeg3s

Cell is dead! Goku killed him. The good news is that AMD just unified console graphics. This will make it easier on visual game developers.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Called the cell doomed for gaming from day one. Called no backwards compatibility with PS3. --The PS4 needs to be twice as superior and cheap, to place higher than 3rd next generation. -Unless the Wii-U (or whatever they call it next) flops.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@Ravenlore_basic Would that PowerXcell 8i have cost more? I believe if it cost more and would have made them launch even later then they made the right choice. The PS3 already had massive issues selling during it's earlier years because of the cost of blu-ray and the system and 2 main factors have to be considered. Firstly that is the processor, not the graphics card and I don't believe many people have thought too much of the cell processor being weak or needing to be more powerful (because it is powerful still and there's not too much need for more) while the graphics card would have been a bigger improvement should they have gone for a stronger one. Second the delay would have give MS an even bigger lead on sales and only made more issues and pressure for Sony to deliver. The price cut would have come later the sales of the 360 would be contested even later which would have put Sony in a terrible position. Even now 5 years since the launch the gap has left MS with a lead in sales so any longer would have made this lead even bigger (beyond proportional increase) in my opinion. They made a few mistakes before launch and after but launching any later would have been the biggest mistake as a lot of the others were solved or became none problems as time went by anyway but that one would have hurt them bad.

DreadfulGlory
DreadfulGlory

Sony isn't going to make the same mistakes as last time. They will make new mistakes.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

Facts for your reference... THE Cell uses 6 of 8 cores. and they are not as powerful or cost effective as they could have been due to speed at which they were developed and launched. The tools to build the cell chip were up and running before they could get the errors lower and numbers increased... not to mention a decrease in chip size. All of which came a year later. HAD SONY WAITED a year longer, they would have had a better chip with more in common with the PowerXcell 8i. All 8 SPUs would have worked at a slightly higher GHz. BUT Sony was battling for BluRay, and THOUGH that one year was long enough to be behind Microsoft early launch.

mastergundam
mastergundam

expect the japanese to have techonology go over before the world as usual

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

I do not see Sony working WIth AMD unless AMD gives them a price on HIGH tech that is better than what they can get with PowerVR. Also, such a deal would make Microsoft mad as who would get the better graphics card or deal !?!? I am not sure unless they go with AMD that Sony would not use any Cell tech. Even if Sony went with a Power verent CPU it uses teach from Cell. Also, by using the Cell Sony saves a lot more than licencing tech from other companies. Unless IBM gives Sony a deal for whatever reason.

servb0ts
servb0ts

I know Sony PS3, is known for taking away features, but come on PS4 kinda going overboard.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

in all honesty as long as the games/console isnt ridiculously priced, no more gimmicks and its dependable...i have no problem

blackace
blackace

The CELL is old, old technology. Plus it was extremely expensive for its time. I can understand why Sony isn't going to use it again. It almost bankrupted them. Whatever happens, Sony should do everything in their powers to make sure the system costs $399 or less.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Own a PS3 so dont flame me.... CELL = FAIL All that time and money - and then on time of release an off the shelf processor would have given the same performance - Lesson 1 - MS, Nintendo & Sony - please let the Hardware guru's spend time and money on the gubbins and stick to the software/UGI and stylisation Lesson 2 - Keep costs low - dont expect the consumer to fund extravagant hardware development costs Lesson 3 - Dont lie about the spec's - if in doubt about your superiority then just say nothing ;) Lesson 4 - Test your hardware thoroughly before release - >_> Yes MS & Sony I am looking at the both of you :P @beserk9012 Scr*tum would be a better fit for any future sony processor - because it would be yet another hardware design 'b*ll*cks up'

rarson
rarson

@ComBaTsOuL It's based off SemiAccurate's reports and the fact that IBM just started manufacturing 32nm APUs at their new fab. It's not "fact" any more than any other rumor, but Charlie has actual industry sources and doesn't print anything without verifying it first (this is not some random internet rumor). The time frame of manufacturing and expected release also lines up with the 6000-series expectation. Mind you, MS is NOT using an off-the-shelf part. They never have, and they wouldn't because this is console hardware. They're just using the architecture as a basis. So MS will tell AMD how they want it customized, and AMD will make something to meet their needs. It might look similar in size and power consumption to a shelf part, but it'll be much more customized, and therefore faster for a given size, clock speed, and/or TDP (plus, working with lower-level console SDKs, you're removing some of the abstraction overhead that PCs suffer from, and hopefully driver issues as well). So, a "6670-level console part" is going to perform much better than an actual 6670 (not that I think the Nextbox will necessarily have a 6670-level part in it). I'm still worried that Sony is going to over-complicate things by cramming so much tech into their box that it's hard to program for, just like the PS2 and PS3.

TTDog
TTDog

So the "Power of the Cell" was just plain marketing nonsense? From Sony! Who would have thought that! [\SARCASM OFF/]

ComBaTsOuL
ComBaTsOuL

rarson "MS is using a VLIW4 GPU (HD 6000 series)" is that fact or is that basing it of ign?

rarson
rarson

Charlie has a new article out. More information: PS4 will be using an AMD x86 CPU. http://semiaccurate.com/2012/03/02/sony-playstation-4-will-be-an-x86-cpu-with-an-amd-gpu/ "SemiAccurate's sources won't spill the beans on the exact generation of CPU and GPU that are in the PS4, but we expect it to be a very customized version of an existing or near future design." 'Near future' probably refers to Piledriver, which are the x86 cores in the soon-to-be-released Trinity APUs. Piledriver is essentially an enhancement to Bulldozer and should provide a nice bump in performance. Since Piledriver is probably all but finished, and the PS4 is likely still 2 years away, I think Sony will probably have AMD tweak Piledriver further to customize it for their console. To the people that keep saying the use of AMD means that the consoles will be similar, that's not true. MS is using a VLIW4 GPU (HD 6000 series), Sony is using GCN (HD 7000). They are very different architectures. In addition, we already know that MS' chips are being fabbed at an IBM foundry. Why? Because they're not using x86 CPU cores. PS4 will be faster than Nextbox, I'm sure. But given the extra time Sony has planned to take before they release their next console, that's exactly what I expected (assuming they weren't going to try to use more esoteric hardware again like Cell).

berzerk0912
berzerk0912

I betcha Sony's next processor will be called the "Embryo" since Sony likes to name everything after body parts.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Why would they use the cell processor? It's old technology. It would be stupid to even consider it. That would be like MS creating a new xbox using the same tech from the old one.

gfantini
gfantini

@mosavm01 Consoles commonly employ a customized version of mainstream chips that are optimized for gaming. That's one of the advantages of a dedicated gaming machine. The other obvious advantage is that the PS4 will probably be more powerfull (gaming wise) than the platform you suggested and cost a fifth.

BlackSnake123
BlackSnake123

if they don't use cell processor in ps4 i think it won't be backward compatible with ps3 games.

Gum_Shoe-
Gum_Shoe-

I think this news article would have been more relevent in 2007.

franzito
franzito

Oh no, PS4 news again? Cut the crap!

mosavm01
mosavm01

@kkxtrouble yea the money is problem lol

kkxtrouble
kkxtrouble

@mosavm01 Lol, in Brazil it was around 1500$ I wouldnt be able to afford a 1000$ - in the USA. Here i would probably have to give a kidney away or something.

mosavm01
mosavm01

@kkxtrouble yea but it will be used for 10 years or so of gaming playing, will ps3 was 1000 dollars in New Zealand when it came out lol

kkxtrouble
kkxtrouble

@mosavm01 Lol, and people wont be able to buy it because it would cost 1000$

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Yes nevermind they said they were gonna use AMD in a article not even a week back. Jeez GS leave Sony alone will ya?

mosavm01
mosavm01

well if the ps4 has Intel Core i7-3960X and AMD 7970M it will be coolest next gen system.

mosavm01
mosavm01

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

I hope this hasn't screwed us over for PS3 backwards compatibility, I'm guessing it has with them also switching to an ATI over Nvidia card (too many changes and it becomes increasingly difficult) which will suck since we all love to play our games and having them in one place rather than 3 or 4 is just easier. As for removing the cell, the only reason I can see for it is due to the difficulty of porting games as we've seen the PS3 was the most powerful console yet more often than not developers produced better 360 ports just due to the awkward design of the PS3 Cell processor and (so I've heard) worse graphics card. If they lose backwards compatibility again and have all the games on PSN though it'll be a laugh trying to download loads of 30 to 50gb games every time you want them on your system.

Clive-Owen
Clive-Owen

how about all stop complaining, stick to our games and wait till 2013?

hasancakir
hasancakir

Wise move. If it is too expensive, they should use cheaper and same quality cpu (just like xbox360 did)

PeterDuck
PeterDuck

It's not surprising. Sony spent 400 million $ on their PS3 processor.

gamerapper
gamerapper

I just want backwards compatibility with PS3 games and maybe PS2 games.

soulless4now
soulless4now

As long as it isn't something that makes the system cost more than $400, I'll be happy.

Psikosis
Psikosis

Cell and Blu-Ray cost Sony their leading position in the console market along with their profitability. Cell was hard to program and Blu-Ray was/is slow and expensive (relative to DVD-based tech). Combined with an on-line platform that lags far behind XBL, almost no marketing, the expensive and very under-utilized Move system, the flagging PSP, a huge PSN security breach caused by poor management decisions, the PSPGo (WTH were they thinking?!?!), and generally terrible PR work, it's a wonder Sony is still a viable contender in the console and portable market. And I like Sony products, they're generally good quality work. But they NEED wins with PS4 and Vita. I really do like Sony, but they have to give me reasons to own their products because I'm nobody's fan boy. Right now my PS3 spends half of its time playing Blu-Ray Discs...

Jebril
Jebril

So they finally listened to what I've been saying all along? How many people said this and got flamed by Sony fanboys for this? We weren't trying to be mean either, I think the PS2 was a great system, and the PS3 did introduce Blu-Ray which while I still feel was mostly unnecessary I did see some of the innovation behind having huge capacity for your disks. However that being said most of the PS3's features were more in tune for creating supercomputers to set up servers with Linux then create a proper gameconsole. I was going to actually buy a PS3 just to put YellowDog on it and use it as a computer with my TV until I learned they pulled support and blocked the Other OS feature, a move I personally found deplorable.

monson21502
monson21502

maybe they game make a real game system this time....

BestJinjo
BestJinjo

 @MrGordons That's good. I don't want to pay $60-80 more for  PS4 to play PS3's 7 year old games. For people who want BC, they should keep their PS3. Why should new buyers subsidize BC costs for the rest of you PS3 owners? 

BestJinjo
BestJinjo

 @WarGrad  @jhcho2 It doesn't cost thousands of dollars to build a proper PC gaming rig. Either way, the Fusion AMD processors, while not as fast as latest Intel CPUs, are far superior in performance in running games than the Cell is. Also, keep in mind that the Fusion APU has an integrated graphics onboard. That means if PS4 uses a Fusion APU + dedicated HD7000 series graphics, you essentially get dual-graphics in PS4. That's a huge key competitive advantage that the Xbox720 is unlikely to have. Since GPUs are what's driving the actual graphics and and all the pretty effects on your screen (CPU does AI, sound, physics effects), what you want is as powerful GPU as possible and AMD's Fusion APU gives you an additional graphics card for "free" since it's part of the CPU.